Last updated Tuesday March 16, 2021 at 10:43:00

Chris Barber
17/04/1930 - 02/03/2021


Picture courtesy gettyimages

  See also obituaries in The Guardian, Jazz Journal, Wikipedia, MSN, Press & Journal, Metro, Pehal News, Syncopated Times, BBC News, Mail Online, Buzzsprout

02/03/21 -

Chris Barber has died today at the age of 90. I don't think we can say it's sad news because he had a great life doing what he wanted and playing the music he loved. What was sad was that he finished up in a care home with dementia and presumably nobody able to visit him due to Covid restrictions. Nevertheless it is the end of an era, and I was just one of many who grew up listening to and loving the recordings he made, starting with Rock Island Line when he played bass, up to his jazz and blues and big band days. It is fair to say that without Chris Barbar and Ken Colyer, this site would never have happened. I will of course be putting up a tribute page, and maybe you could think about how he influenced you and send me your story. I recall going to see him at The Free Trade Hall to a packed house, and to a somewhat smaller house at the Floral Hall in Fleetwood many years later. He still went down a storm. See also Jazz Journal and The Guardian

Fred Burnett

02/03/21 -

What a sad evening tonight regarding the passing of the Great Chris Barber ,a true legend of the Jazz world ,the last of the line of the British trad scene from the 50s and 60s and the most important. Chris of course introduced many styles over the years, along with different bands. He has had a rough two years since retirement, including a couple of falls and the onset of dementia. I followed Chris for 55 years in the Uk and Europe

I have just had an hour from my collection and a YouTube session ,

A huge loss but the music lives on, rest in peace  Christopher Donald Barber

Mark Mc Alister

02/03/21 -

You've perhaps heard from other sources the sad news that Chris Barber passed away today at the age of 90. He would have been 91 on the 17th of next month. His Wikipedia page says 'Barber died on 2 March, 2021, after suffering from dementia'. Here's the link :  End of an era with the last of the '3 B's' leaving us.

Dave Leithead.

03/03/21 -

Chris Barber was my first influence it was hearing Monty Sunshine that set me off on clarinet but I loved the band, I first saw him about 1958 at the old Guild Hall in Preston. I have a lot of Chris Barber vinyl. RIP

Barrie Marshall.

03/03/21 -

Bad enough with Pat Halcox's demise but today we now have Chris Barber. Two Giants of British Jazz . Very sadly missed . R.I.P.

Peter Darwin

03/03/21 -

So sad to hear of Chris Barber’s passing, and that he had dementia and was in a care home. He was one of the all-time jazz ‘greats’ and he and his band sparked off my life-long obsessive interest in Traditional Jazz when I heard their recording of “The Martinique”, at a school dance in 1953 – marvellous ! Thank you Chris for that and all that followed.

Terry Birkinhead 

03/03/21 -

So sad that Chris' long and active life has now ended. He did so much for our music as well as being a very human guy; he'll be greatly missed. I had the privilege of playing with him in his first amateur band and would have loved to be able to play again at his wake.  Sadly the current situation will not permit this, but his memory will live on.

R I P Chris
John Westwood

04/03/21 -

Sad indeed to learn of Chris’s passing. He helped keep the flame of British jazz alive over seven decades and always produced an enjoyable performance. He constantly evolved, typified by his forming an eleven piece in the year 2001 to develop his love of the Ellington repertoire. He was 70 at the time!

Ian Boyes

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